DR. SHON HOCKER SELECTED AS NEXT SUPERINTENDENT
Dr. Shon Hocker of Dickinson, North Dakota, will be the next superintendent of Coeur d’Alene Public Schools, pending final approval of the Board of Trustees, and will succeed Dr. Steven Cook on July 1.
The Board met April 16th and 17th to consider the two finalists for the position, Dr. Hocker and Dr. Kate Orozco, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education and Instruction for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools.
“The Board was honored and grateful to have two outstanding candidates for superintendent,” Board Chair Jennifer Brumley said. “We did not take this decision lightly, and both Dr. Orozco and Dr. Hocker are highly qualified to do the job. The Board is excited to announce the offer and acceptance of the superintendent position by Dr. Shon Hocker.”
Brumley added, “We look forward to continuing the great work of Dr. Cook through Dr. Hocker. We believe the background Dr. Hocker brings with his prior experience will continue forward progress on our Portrait of a Graduate and the timelines established under our strategic plan. We also believe he will have trusting and solid relationships with staff and this community for years to come. The Board looks forward to great things to come under Dr. Hocker’s leadership.”
The Board has added a vote to approve Dr. Hocker’s hiring, and to execute a three-year contract with him, to its agenda for a board workshop scheduled for Monday, April 19th. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. at the Midtown Meeting Center and will be live-streamed on the District’s YouTube channel.
Dr. Hocker has been Superintendent of Dickinson Public Schools since 2018. The district has 4,500 students and 650 staff. Prior to that he was Superintendent of the Big Horn School District in Cowley, Wyoming, from 2007 to 2018. In 2016 he was named Wyoming Superintendent of the Year. From 2004 to 2007 he was principal of Shelley High School in Shelley, Idaho.
Dr. Hocker received his doctorate in educational leadership from Idaho State University in 2016; and his master’s degree from ISU in 1999.
“I am honored to have been selected as the new superintendent for Coeur d'Alene Public Schools,” Dr. Hocker said. “Although I will definitely miss my current school district, my wife, Carla, and I have been touched by the outpouring of support and encouragement we have already received from so many Coeur d'Alene staff and parents. It is clear that Coeur d'Alene has a powerful sense of community. We are looking forward to becoming immersed into your wonderful community and participating in all that it has to offer.”
He continued, “I am hopeful to continue to build upon the excellence that Coeur d'Alene Public Schools has come to represent. Coeur d’Alene appears to be a great place to live and work, and a wonderful place to raise a family. As I toured many of the schools, I was impressed by the learning environment and engagement of the students and staff. I have always believed that public education, when done well, provides an opportunity to meet each student where they are and move them forward to their path of promise and opportunity. Now, more than ever, we are learning new ways of teaching, new ways of operating, and new ways of becoming better, with the focus of helping ALL students succeed. I look forward to this journey with each of you.”
The Board began its search in January, after Dr. Cook announced he had accepted the position of superintendent of the Bend-LaPine School District in Oregon. Cook is completing his third year as superintendent in Coeur d’Alene.
The Board thanked everyone who took time to meet with the finalists, watch the April 15th public forum with Dr. Hocker and Dr. Orozco, and provide the board with written feedback on the candidates.
Coeur d'Alene Public Schools launched a search for a new superintendent for the 2021-22 school year. The new superintendent will replace Dr. Steven Cook, who accepted the position of superintendent of the Bend-La Pine School District in Oregon and will leave at the end of the current school year. Our Board of Trustees worked with executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to find the next superintendent for Coeur d'Alene Public Schools.
The Board of Trustees has established the following timeline for its superintendent search. The position will remain open until filled.
Feb. 16-22 Focus groups with staff, students, and community stakeholders
Feb. 12-25 Community survey
March 8 Review of applications begins
March 15 Leadership Profile Report presented to Board
March 22-26 Top applicants screened by consultants
Early April Semifinalist interviews
Mid-April Finalist interviews, Board selection
July 1 Superintendent assumes responsibilities
The candidate must have background, skills and abilities essential for excellence in educational leadership. The board recognizes that selecting a superintendent is one of the most important decisions it will make.
The board has identified the following desired characteristics for candidates:
• Is honest and open, is confident and possesses integrity, is genuine and understands the importance of doing what’s right, not what’s expected.
• Is a great communicator who listens well, has a history of working well with boards and staff, and is open to change within the district and the community.
• Is able to demonstrate prior academic success for all students and has the ability to raise the bar to improve student academic achievement.
• Is a visionary with the ability to inspire others, is passionate and able to think critically.
• Is a strong leader who is successful in leading at the highest level, is knowledgeable and skilled in financial management with experience in capital construction projects.
Degrees and Certifications:
Degrees and Certifications:
At the start of the search process, the Board of Trustees sought public input to help determine the preferred qualities in candidates for the position.
Superintendent Search Survey
Through a public survey in February, we gathered your perceptions of the school district and the importance of various characteristics found in effective superintendents. The information is being used to determine the desired characteristics of the next superintendent. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
Public Focus Groups
The search firm hosted several focus groups with District stakeholders to gather input on the desired characteristics of the next superintendent. These stakeholders included District administrators and staff, representatives of the Student Advisory Group, parent and District committees, and civic/business leaders. District residents were invited to participate in a Public Focus Group with the search consultants on February 22.